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When people found out Lady Gaga would be performing the Pepsi halftime show at Super Bowl LI, there was some trepidation.

After all, this was the woman who protested outside Trump Tower, tears streaming down her face, after the presidential election.

Maybe she'd take this opportunity to make a grand political statement.

Instead, this happened...

Gaga opened up with a heartfelt rendition of “God Bless America”:

Red and blue stars lit up above her:

Then she descended from the heavens like a magic silver alien:

Credit: Larry Busacca / Staff / Getty Images

It was a pretty cool intro.

Last year, if you remember, Beyoncé opened with “Formation.”

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Her dancers were dressed like Black Panthers:

Harry How / Getty Images

Gaga's dancers looked kinda different:

Larry Busacca / Getty Images

It was a diverse group—race, gender, you name it:

Larry Busacca / Getty Images

Bey's dancers kept it more uniform:

"You might be the next Black Bill Gates in the Makin"

A photo posted by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on

Overall, the intentions of the two performances were just plain different, and so were the times.

Beyoncé was overtly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement:

Gaga said she and her crew were just “here to make you feel good.”

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

And overall, it seems like she was successful.

Like, people are really pleased:

She brought together both sides of the aisle:

On the other hand, Beyoncé's performance sparked mixed reactions. And that's fine, because that's what she intended.

Bey's performance, of course, came at a time when stories of police brutality against people of color were exploding across the media.

The Black Lives Matter movement was gaining traction, but it still seemed alien to a lot of Americans, and Beyoncé's performance put the issue front and center.

But the national conversation has shifted since then, and things are tenser than ever.

So Gaga kept it light (albeit with some subtle political moments), and gave America something to smile about.

She capped it off with a mic drop:

And there you have it.

[Editor's note: This post has been updated after publication.]

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